Friday, April 13, 2007

Making a Literary Life Friday: Persistence

This week we blogged about the persistence factor, a central ingredient in the writer's life. Though we don't expect we'll all take up hockey, or god-forbid be 96 when we get published, living a literary life is hard. But like building a beautiful home to live in, work in and play in, we will persevere. And to all our writer friends who stop by and visit our blog, remember: The difference between a writer and an author is persistence.

This week Lynne's entry really struck a chord with me. Over the last year I have read several books. Some I loved: Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, Al Capone Does my Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko. Perhaps it's time for me to take another look at them to better understand the elements of these books that resonated with me.

I am over-the-moon to learn Alice Sebold's latest book (her third), The Almost Moon, will be released October 16. More exciting news, Jennifer McMahon's Promise Not to Tell was released this past Tuesday and my dear friend, Hank Phillippi Ryan's website is up and gorgeous. Take a look. And if you're as intrigued by the human psyche as I, take a gander at Tish Cohen's website where people are sharing their phobias. Mine? Did you see the photo's of the Taipei Zoo's Nile croc?

I started to dive back into my story, deeper, farther, more. Had to keep coming up for air and interruptions, making me all the more itchy to get back down! Reread some P.D. James in the evenings to slow the swirl in my head. I love her Dalgleish mysteries, points of view.

This week I received my Berkley Penguin Fall 2007 catalogue. My book resides on page 26 of 151 pages! It was lovely to see aspects of my book in print. I also received my first national parenting magazine freelance writing assignment. I will have a piece in Parenting Magazine this fall. And in keeping with my make-time-for-reading campaign, I started savoring every word of Ann Patchett's Bel Canto. If you have a must-read list, I strongly recommend it.


Judy Merrill Larsen said...

I've loved all your posts this week, ladies, so thanks! I'm pleased to get the scoop on Alice Sebold's new book, too. I second the plug for Bel Canto. One book I highly recommend for savoring is Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried"--an absolute gem.

Ghost Girl (aka, Mary Ann) said...

You ladies have inspired me further. Persistence is an essential ingredient in a writer's life. I think I'll have to blog about this one myself!

It's great to hear where you all are. Congrats, Lynne, on page 26!

I've been further inspired by all the reading I've done of late. Loads of newberry winners for the class I'm teaching: Bud, Not Buddy, Walk Two Moons, Coraline, Song of the Magdalene, Maniac Magee.

Such great writing. Like you, Lisa, I think I need to take them apart a little to get back in touch with where the magic comes from. Maybe a little will rub off (I can dream!).

Larramie said...

It was a good week, one that featured some very personal sharing. Thank you.

Therese said...

I loved Bel Canto (it's one of my all-time favorites)--and want to second Judy's recommendation of The Things They Carried.

Lynn, what a big season fall will be for you! And your post yesterday raises such a good point about savoring good books. Do make time to read Lolita when you can--it's brilliant the way Nabokov makes such an unsavory character sympathetic. (And oh, what gorgeous prose!)

Amy, thanks for alerting us to Alice Sebold's upcoming novel. A 750,000 copy first printing!! Now that's something to aspire to!

Lynne Griffin and Amy MacKinnon said...

Judy, I love The Things They Carried, thanks for reminding me to pick it up again.

GG, my son just finished Walk Two Moons, and while I don't write YA -- it's too hard -- there's much to learn there. Hatchet by Gary Paulson has fabulous writing.

Larramie, thank you for your kind words. I always learn so much from Lisa, Hannah, & Lynne.

Therese, "aspire" will be one of those words I'll add to my favorites list. And Bel Canto is a personal favorite of mine too, especially the ending, and I'm one of the few who preferred Lucky to The Lovely Bones. How about you?


Lynne Griffin and Amy MacKinnon said...

Thank you all for your generous encouragement. Now for some more book recommendations...

I love Sharon Creech's Chasing Redbird. Her protagonist is named after my favorite flower--Zinnia.

I am in love with The History of Love. I am half-way through and absolutely adore it! My daughter and I are having tea at the end of next week to book club it. I can't wait.

Up next--Lolita.


Anonymous said...

One more thing about persistence? (I persist...)

This is the quotation that's on the bulletin board above my desk...and has been there for as long as I can remember.

"Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."
*Calvin Coolidge

Thanks for the wonderful posts...

ORION said...

I'm back from New York!
And I too am looking forward to Alice Sebold's new book...

Lynne Griffin and Amy MacKinnon said...

Hank, I'm going to do a copy-n-paste and hang it next to Motoko's profile of Mr. Bernstein. Your journey topublication is an inspired one. Just 6 weeks until Prime Time is released!

Pat/Orion, I had so much fun reading your NYC posts. I must have read them 5 times each. I'm thrilled for you. Did I ever tell you I once interviewed Miss Snark? She's a hoot!